Hanover County man gets 3.5 years in prison for possessing child porn

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — A Hanover County man pled guilty Friday to four counts of possession of child pornography.

Joel Allen Kelley, 21, was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months of active imprisonment, with an additional 31 years and 6 months suspended.

Attorney General Mark R. Herring announced the result after Kelley was sentenced by Hanover County Circuit Court Judge Patricia Kelly.

“My team and I are fighting the scourge of child pornography every single day because nothing could be more important than the safety and health of our children,” said Attorney General Herring. “This is another strong sentence that will put a dangerous predator behind bars. I’m really proud of the great work done by my team of prosecutors and investigators, and all our law enforcement partners in this matter.”

Evidence presented in court showed that Kelley was identified by law enforcement after sharing files of child pornography with undercover investigators from the Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force over a peer-to-peer file sharing network.

Investigators were able to identify Kelley through Internet service records. Based on this information, investigators obtained and executed a search warrant on Kelley’s Hanover County residence, where they seized Kelley’s computer and several thumb drives.

According to a press release, AG Herring’s Computer Forensics Unit forensically examined the computer and found it to contain child pornography and peer-to-peer file-sharing software. A thumb drive seized from Kelley’s bedroom also contained files of child pornography.

The hundreds of child pornography images recovered depict children as young as 6 years old being sexually abused, some of which have been identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children as abuse victims in prior law enforcement investigations.

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